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  #81  
Old 02-22-2017, 01:36 PM
chipchas chipchas is offline
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Thanks fjn04 and Sancho!!!! Exactly what I wanted to hear and very helpful!

What type of wood is the veneer on the Valencias? I was thinking maybe walnut but someone who knows way more than I thinks oak?
I'm hoping to match the stand and speaker.

This is an awesome thread. Thanks to all!
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  #82  
Old 02-22-2017, 04:59 PM
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Yah the Valencias are walnut and the Flamencos are oak (antiqued / spanish):

https://www.audioaficionado.org/show...33&postcount=2

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Originally Posted by chipchas View Post
Thanks fjn04 and Sancho!!!! Exactly what I wanted to hear and very helpful!

What type of wood is the veneer on the Valencias? I was thinking maybe walnut but someone who knows way more than I thinks oak?
I'm hoping to match the stand and speaker.

This is an awesome thread. Thanks to all!
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  #83  
Old 03-15-2017, 01:09 PM
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Curious if anyone has the Altec Malibu? There is a nice pair on eBay though the price if quite high. The one thing I like about that speaker over the Valencia/Flamenco is that it is taller, being that it incorporates two vertical LF drivers and wouldn't really require stands which seems to be what most people are using for these Altecs. I asked about the Malibu's sensitivity and the seller indicated it was 92-93db which seems a bit lower than the Valencia/Flamenco. Is that normal when adding a second LF driver?
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  #84  
Old 03-19-2017, 02:41 PM
Sancho22 Sancho22 is offline
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Not sure but that sounds like an easy load still relatively. What would you drive them with?
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  #85  
Old 03-20-2017, 09:59 AM
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For now the Leben CS600, but my hope is acquire a Cortese.

However, just yesterday I bought a pair of Flamencos in excellent condition! Very excited putting this through it's paces. For now, I have the same two speakers as Art Dudley which is great because he's written to much about both of them.

The first thing I noticed coming from the O96 is that the Altecs sound much much better at low volumes. For a young father of two small children this is great!

The next thing that popped into my mind was how Art mentioned that older speakers had more 'flesh and bone' than newer. I don't know if the sonic undertone to that statement is simply 'more bass', but I do think that the Altecs do bass more believably and with more kick/snap than my DeVores. The DeVore's base by comparison is more detailed. I can see how one could have a preference for either.


Anyways, I know OP already bought Flamencos but for anyone else reading the thread I thought I would post something Art wrote about in discussing his Altecs and O96

From Stereophile:

"These days, when my attention isn't required by loudspeakers in for review, I divide my listening time between the DeVore O/96s and my nearly 50-year-old Altec Valencias. The Altec and DeVore share a few traits. Both are more efficient (footnote 2) than average, notably fine at playing music with a believable sense of scale, and both have larger-than-average bass drivers for two-way loudspeakers: 13" for the Altec, 10" for the DeVore. Otherwise, they're different sides of a rarely traded coin. The Altec is all about touch, texture, impact, presence, and directness, yet it funds some of those accomplishments with sacrifices in tonal neutrality—at its worst, the Valencia can be slightly shrieky. The DeVore doesn't have quite the same texture and touch—though it's better than average in those departments—and embodies much that is good about more decidedly modern hi-fi, including notably wide bandwidth and a sophisticated way with the spatial characteristics of good stereo recordings. The O/96 also manages the neat trick of sounding simultaneously substantial and open—but never overtly "airy.""
Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/d...igYg3W00VKt.99
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  #86  
Old 03-20-2017, 04:29 PM
fjn04 fjn04 is offline
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I think the Werner crossover alleviates the shriekiness, which itself, was not obvious to me at low and medium listening levels. Fast forward to the Werner XO fully broken in. If anything, I like to open it up to past medium levels, to the more open side. I easily prefer the Werner, not say the the stock Altec wasn't enjoyable as is. The Werner does bring (easily heard) refinement. That being said, I'd love to hear the junker crossover. I heard Best Buy may soon be carrying it. (-:
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  #87  
Old 03-21-2017, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFz View Post
For now the Leben CS600, but my hope is acquire a Cortese.

The next thing that popped into my mind was how Art mentioned that older speakers had more 'flesh and bone' than newer. I don't know if the sonic undertone to that statement is simply 'more bass', but I do think that the Altecs do bass more believably and with more kick/snap than my DeVores. The DeVore's base by comparison is more detailed. I can see how one could have a preference for either.

Anyways, I know OP already bought Flamencos but for anyone else reading the thread I thought I would post something Art wrote about in discussing his Altecs and O96
I am also an owner of both the Valencia (846B) and the Devore O/96 and overall agree as well with Art's description.

Interestingly for the flesh and bone comment above, I would describe the O/96 as denser and richer in the low end than the Altec. The Altecs had a beautifully textured bass, very delicate and light and with the presence, directness, and impact Art described. On the other hand the O96 was richer and much more extended to low frequencies, but also I felt it is not as detailed as the Valencia. interestingly that later description differs from some comments on Valencias - possible the 846B has the cleaner more detailed bass than the 846A?

The top end and upper mid range is where I had the most difficulty with the 846B and in particular the original crossovers. While very quick, the 4 Khz peak added a hollowness and ambience that was less than natural and moved the tope end often to the shriekyness Art described.

The Jagusch crossover (custom for the 846B) fixed this, providing a much more extended and clean top end, although also not quite a lively and forward as the original crossover.

In the end the natural and more realistic tone of the O96 won me over though, especially after I moved away from the Shindo...
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  #88  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:34 PM
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Thanks for the reply restock! I think there is a reason why I'm not a writer, as I definitely cannot articulate the differences I'm hearing as well as Art can.

I still haven't A/B'd them for a direct comparison although I am planning on doing that soon to determine which I will keep. I've had the Flamencos in my system for 3 days now. What impresses me the most is the scale, musicality, and surprisingly the cohesiveness of the horn/LF driver in my system. The drawbacks (in comparison to the O96) would be the loss of detail, imaging, and more forward presentation I think the Devore's possess, at least in my room. The most unbelievable thing is that these speakers are a great value (for me anyway), which has no direct impact on the sonics but can free up resources for other areas of the system.

I think I'm hearing the same thing as you in regards to the Devores being richer and tonally saturated, and perhaps even playing lower with more detail. I never thought of the Devores as sounding 'hifi' like some modern speakers with respect to stereo effects, imaging, and extension but it certainly stands out to me in comparison and in a positive way.

I'm going to have fun and perhaps drive myself a little crazy trying to compare them, but the mere fact that they are comparable should be an indication to anyone reading the thread and deciding on these speakers should consider the Valencia/Flamencos if they can be had. I'm sure if they don't work out, resale wouldn't be difficult even locally as there are vintage hifi lovers all over the place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by restock View Post
I am also an owner of both the Valencia (846B) and the Devore O/96 and overall agree as well with Art's description.

Interestingly for the flesh and bone comment above, I would describe the O/96 as denser and richer in the low end than the Altec. The Altecs had a beautifully textured bass, very delicate and light and with the presence, directness, and impact Art described. On the other hand the O96 was richer and much more extended to low frequencies, but also I felt it is not as detailed as the Valencia. interestingly that later description differs from some comments on Valencias - possible the 846B has the cleaner more detailed bass than the 846A?

The top end and upper mid range is where I had the most difficulty with the 846B and in particular the original crossovers. While very quick, the 4 Khz peak added a hollowness and ambience that was less than natural and moved the tope end often to the shriekyness Art described.

The Jagusch crossover (custom for the 846B) fixed this, providing a much more extended and clean top end, although also not quite a lively and forward as the original crossover.

In the end the natural and more realistic tone of the O96 won me over though, especially after I moved away from the Shindo...
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  #89  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:31 PM
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Default Altec Flamenco and DeVore O96

I had a chance today to A/B my Altec Flamencos and Devore O96. Iím going to give my thoughts on these two great speakers and would love to hear any feedback. Ultimately, I havenít decided which to keep, perhaps both, because as you well can figure out each has its own strengths and weakness given its design.

First a bit about my setup and room. My official room size is 14 x 18í6, with one short wall completely open and the long wall on which the speakers are setup are open after about 8 ft. I have vaulted ceilings, about 11-12 ft high. I ran the Altecs 8 ft apart, about 26Ē inches from the rear wall, and I didnít measure from the one side wall. I had them toed in at various angles but found the best to be where I could barely see the inside panel on each speaker. The DeVores were about 36Ē out from the rear wall and 7.25 ft apart. I sit on a couch with my head against the rear wall, about 12 ft away from the Altecs and 11 ft away from the Devores. The DeVores were toed in much less where I could see a about 1/3 of the inside panel from my listening positioning.

My components are Macbook Pro utilizing Tidal Hifi, PS Audio Directstream DAC, Shindo Vosne Romanee, and Leben CS600. Interconnects are Shindo silver and the speaker cables were 4 meters Auditorium 23. The equipment console was unfortunately in the between the speakers but against the wall. Ultimately Iím moving towards a Shindo amp but not sure yet which one, that will depend on the speaker.

My room is definitely not optimal, and my components are a bit Frankenstein which is against the Shindo mantra, but Iím working my way to a Shindo amp and TT (I promise!) I can fully admit right here that this is a problem with any review including a Shindo component outside of a Shindo system, but I will say that running the Leben CS600 with the Vosne Romanee improved nearly everything with the Leben. Texture, tone, soundstage, and that all important Shindo timing..all improved with the VR and the Leben running in power amp mode. My Leben tubes were the 6n3ce. I also had previously moved my DeVores to the short wall and admit it had more focus and coherence but unfortunately there is sub-optimal seating on the short wall, so the long wall is.

In terms of an executive summary, I can summarize by saying that the Altecís play smoother, bigger, and play better at lower volumes. They have great presence and I almost never tended to want to crank up the volumes past moderate listening levels, and when I did I was penalized for doing so. The DeVores by contrast, needed to be cranked up to get those lively dynamics. The Oís had better imaging, depth, resolution, and texture. I could picture where on the stage each instrument was positioned and could hear deeper into the music as a result of the increased detail.

One thing I learned quickly was utilizing the Leben volume knob in power amp mode does more to increase the high frequencies of the Altecs as opposed to equally increasing all levels of volume. I attribute this to the supposed higher efficiency of the high frequency horn in the Altec getting more from each volume notch of the Leben. So, for those tracks with excessive treble like cymbals and high pitch guitars notes, I found myself turning down the volume knob on the Leben and cranking up the knob on the VR to balance things out.

For jazz, I tried Dave Brubeckís ďTake FiveĒ. The Altecs again have incredible scale and good timing. The wind instruments sounded breathy and the overall coherence of the track was excellent. This was one of those moments were I stopped analyzing and just enjoyed what the Altecs were doing. However, equally impressive was the DeVore. While it didnít have the same scale as the Altecs, the drum solo halfway through the track was presented with more detail and nuance. As the drummer moved his sticks around the drum you could feel the different positions being hit with greater precision and believability than the Altecs. The detail here was extraordinary and something Iíve come to take for granted after having my DeVores for a little over a year now. I thought back on how John DeVore was/is a drummer and so he knows how they should sound. Indeed, this track proves his prowess in reproducing percussion. This was one of those tracks that I enjoyed on both speakers but the laid back and more moderate volume level of the Altecs would be my preference for Jazz in general, although the more detailed DeVores may have more accurately portrayed the music and given it more depth.

Iíve been on a Rod Stewart kick lately, so I tried one of his softer songs ďI Donít Want To Talk About ItĒ. On the Altecs there was an engrossing smoothness with this track. The guitar riffs just mended well with Rod Stewartís straining voice. Here again my preference was to listen at a lower volume because of the sheer ease that the Altecs have at portraying the musical event with less sonic energy. Just flesh and blood, no gimicks. The DeVores by contrast again were more detailed, the guitar riffs were more rhythmically engaging and Rodís voice was more centered and clear than it was with the Altecs. Damn, itís hard to have a preference as both speakers did an outstanding job in different ways with this material.

One of the benefits of Tidal streaming is that they have ďMastersĒ files, or HQ files that stream at or around 96KHz/24bits. Iíve been having some fun trying different albums and music that I normally wouldnít listen to, just to see if I can note the differences between HQ audio and normal CD quality. In that journey I stumbled across Joni Mitchellís Blue album, which does show up on my PS Audio DSD DAC as 96/24 source. Before I acquired the Altecs last week I had been playing this album quite a bit with the DeVores.

One of my favorite tracks on this album is ďCaliforniaĒ. The DeVores present Joniís voice with a sweetness and clarity that is eerily present in my room. The Altecs by comparison have her voice spread out across a wider area, not as precise, and subsequently lost a bit of itís sweetness. This is one album I can say that the DeVores felt more intimate and had my preference. But here again, this is at the expense of listening a little bit more loudly then my usual preference.

My favorite album is Alison Krauss and Union Station ďLiveĒ. I learned that the vinyl version of this album can run for $800 and can understand why. Iím happy enough streaming the digital version and find it to be the most excellently recorded live material Iíve heard that appeals to me. For the comparison, I listen to the Jerry Douglas dobro track ďTribute to Peador OíDonnell/Monkey Let the Hogs OutĒ. Iím intimately familiar with the DeVoreís presentation of this track. Through the DeVores the plucking of the dobro by Jerry does nothing less than make me shut up and listen. So realistic, rhythmic, and musically right. It elicits an emotional response from me everytime because I know Iím witnessing one of the most talented musicians of our genre put on a spectacle right here in my own living room. I was hoping the Altecs would have the same magic but for me, they fell a little short of the nirvana that this track usually takes me to. The Altecs sounded wider by comparison and realistic enough but slightly flatter. The DeVores here have that special sauce that gives it the edge. I should also note that the Shindo VR enhanced this track for me by digging deeper into the texture of the dobro and the leading edge, decay, and timing improved by an appreciable amount.

After all this Iím still undecided as to which is staying and which is going. One thing that is undoubtable is the value proposition that a vintage Altec Flamenco or Valencia can present (or some highly regarded vintage speakers in general like the 604 and the various models that use that driver). I find it refreshing that a speaker nearly 50 years old still holds its appeal and has its own virtues in todayís market that is ripe with $10k+ competitors, even in the high-efficiency market place in which the DeVores compete. I can definitively say that anyone considering a high efficiency speaker should try and locate a vintage Altec if able. The notion being that while the Altecs are a good bargain, they are getting harder and harder to find, especially in good condition.

I would put it this way, if I had purchased my Altecs first I would have never purchased my DeVores as the value simply wouldnít be there for me. Now that I have the DeVores and had the opportunity to A/B for a couple hours today itís important to know that each has its own virtues, but considering all those virtues the DeVore is the more expensive speaker by a wide margin so the value proposition comes into play. I love my DeVores, and my wife likes their styling more so than the Altecs. The other proposition (for me anyway) it to sell the DeVore and invest more heavily into the Shindo family which is weighing heavily on my mind. Something like a Cortese with its optimized 16ohm load should play nicely with the Altecs. The other important thing Iíll note is my wife preferred the sound of the Altecs, so there you have it! Easy decision

What I wonder about is the improvements and modifications you read about for the Altecs. To name a few, the Werner crossover that has been popular these days, the Belden speaker cable, putting the Altec on stands, remagnetizing the drivers, reconing them, and putting clay on the horn so it doesnít sound so shrill. Iíve read that the Werner XO adds to the overall smoothness and coherence of the Altecs, in addition to lowering some of the shout exhibited by the Altecs when there is a flurry of loud HF sound in a song. In my initial listening to mostly acoustic and jazz I never thought this was a problem, until I decided to rock out with some Incubus and played ďAnna MollyĒ and was quickly told by wife ďTurn that off, it sounds awful!Ē.

I wonder too in terms of price, whether the middle ground between an Altec Valencia/Flamenco and a DeVore speaker can give the best of both worlds. To that end, Iíve given thought of the Great Plains Audio 604 driver in an Altec 620 enclosure. It seems that kind of custom speaker can be had for less than an O96, but probably more than a Craigslist pickup Altec, and could potentially sound better than either. Iíd love to hear the 604 in my room some day.

Anyways, I hope my perspective can help anyone interested. Iím all about the exchange of ideas and opinions, Iíd love to hear anyone elseís thoughts on these speakers. Thanks for making it this far!
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  #90  
Old 03-27-2017, 07:19 PM
Sancho22 Sancho22 is offline
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Great discussion. I am still listening to the Flamencos with the original XO. Also, really wanting the O/96 I heard them with Shindo as well as Leben and for my ears there was no contest - the Shindo sounded more emotional, live etc.
I am also toying with some version of 604 - you may want to check out another thread here at AA in General Speaker dsicussion about the Altecs.
At any rate good luck and enjoy the journey !
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